nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2008‒10‒28
two papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University of the Piemonte Orientale

  1. Media Bias and Influence: Evidence from Newspaper Endorsements By Brian G. Knight; Chun-Fang Chiang
  2. The Preferences of Trieste Inhabitants for the Re-use of the Old Port: A Conjoint Choice Experiment By Jérôme Massiani; Paolo Rosato

  1. By: Brian G. Knight; Chun-Fang Chiang
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between media bias and the influence of the media on voting in the context of newspaper endorsements. We first develop a simple econometric model in which voters choose candidates under uncertainty and rely on endorsements from better informed sources. Newspapers are potentially biased in favor of one of the candidates and voters thus rationally account for the credibility of any endorsements. Our primary empirical finding is that endorsements are influential in the sense that voters are more likely to support the recommended candidate after publication of the endorsement. The degree of this influence, however, depends upon the credibility of the endorsement. In this way, endorsements for the Democratic candidate from left-leaning newspapers are less influential than are endorsements from neutral or right-leaning newspapers, and likewise for endorsements for the Republican. These findings suggest that voters do rely on the media for information during campaigns but that the extent of this reliance depends upon the degree and direction of any bias.
    JEL: D7 H0
    Date: 2008–10
  2. By: Jérôme Massiani (University of Trieste); Paolo Rosato (University of Trieste)
    Abstract: In many developed countries, abandoned (derelict or underused) industrial areas often occupy important parts of the cities. This raises issues about the possibilities of reusing these areas as well as on the conservation of industrial heritage they often entail. Conjoint Analysis (CA) can shed light on these issues as it can elicit the preferences of inhabitants for different scenarios of reuse. So far, only a limited number of applications of CA have been made on this topic. In this article, we present the results of a CA experiment on the reuse of a large, mainly abandoned, port area in Trieste (Italy) featuring buildings with some historical and industrial heritage value. Three hundred computer assisted interviews have been made on a representative sample of Trieste inhabitants, eliciting their preferences for different reuse hypotheses and building conservation scenarios. The survey explores two original topics: the impact of the time horizon of the payment (single or decennial special purpose tax) and the consideration of various mixes of future uses. The collected data have been processed using latent class and mixed logit models to explore heterogeneity among interviewees' preferences. Our findings show that, while preferences clearly emerge in favor of tourism and leisure oriented uses, preferences in terms of conservation and the impact of cost are much more difficult to measure. This difficulty persists even when specified or non specified heterogeneity is taken into account, although Mixed Logit estimate provides more convincing results.
    Keywords: Land Use, Port, Trieste, Conjoint Analysis
    JEL: H43 R52 R10
    Date: 2008–09

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